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January Progress

From the desk of the author:

I received the line by line edited version of my new book, “Slaves of Our gods”, right after I completed my last update here on my blog. It’s taken me much longer than I remembered to go through all of the corrections that are marked in red as well as the comments that are highlighted on the right side of the manuscript. As one goes through all of the red highlighted items, you can either accept them or reject them, or rewrite them. For anyone aspiring to publish a book, I would strongly recommend that you do have some professional edit your manuscript and make suggested corrections. Yes, it costs money, but you will benefit of having your grammar corrected according to the Chicago Manual of Style, which is what the proofreaders at do. And you will sleep at night knowing that your English grammar is at least consistent throughout the book.

There were times when most of the corrections were on words that I hyphenated, or if I hyphenated the word, then the editor would remove the hyphen. But the real value of having someone read your manuscript is to have an editor question your sources of information or to question something that makes perfectly good sense to the writer but doesn’t come through clearly to a reader. The comments forced me to do additional research to back up some of my statements and to cite references for key pieces of data. For example, I have been searching for some good data on the percentage of the U.S. workforce engaged in agriculture as a function of the last 100 years. I found the data in an article published by the USDA (United State Department of Agriculture).

One often remembers quotes by famous people incorrectly (i.e. the Watsons – Thomas Sr. and Thomas Jr – who ran IBM in its early days). But when you try to find the source for that quote, you find out that they never said anything like that! An example is a quote attributed to Thomas Watson Sr. in the late forties; “That there would only ever be a market for five computers.” But in his book, “The Maverick and His Machine,” Kevin Maney could find nothing written down that connected Watson to this statement.

I reread my manuscript three more times until all of the suggested corrections were dealt with and either I agreed with them or disagreed with them, or rewrote the text. I returned my manuscript to today, January 28, so they could complete the interior of the book. I still have a couple of issues to resolve on the design of the front and back cover of the book, but those issues should be put to bed in a couple of days.    

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